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Thread: Basement full of DEC parts, PDP-5, PDP-8, DEC 55, and more

  1. #1

    Default Basement full of DEC parts, PDP-5, PDP-8, DEC 55, and more

    I am the lucky new owner of piles and piles of vintage DEC equipment: subject line plus 338 Display Console, dozens of disk packs, hundreds of thousands of punch organized into programs, an IBM 129 card punch machine, Pertec tape drives, hard drives, power supplies, boxes of manuals, and lots more. Everything is located in the basement of a house I purchased to flip where the previous owner was an interface engineer. The more I cleaned out the junk from the house, the more vintage computer items I uncovered and realized these items both have value and the need to be preserved.

    The problem is I'm not a vintage computer guy, I need some help with identifying what is valuable and useful from what is scrap. Nothing in the lot was ever connected and working in its current location, rather the previous owner probably salvaged everything that his company was getting rid of and took it home for a rainy day. It is all pretty dusty from decades in the basement, but there are lots of treasures there.

    So I'm hoping there is someone on this forum living in the Ann Arbor, MI area who might be willing to take a look, or others are interested in looking at some of the pictures I have. My goal is to sell what I can and donate the rest.

    Thanks!
    Tom
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

    Default

    Wow. There's some historically significant gear, and I hope you can find it a good home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,360

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    Tommy,

    You came to the right place, there are plenty of DEC experts and enthusiasts here.
    There is a manual for your 338 display here: http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/gra...chure_1967.pdf
    It shows the display in image 4, and the cabinet in images 2, 3, & 5.
    It also shows a PDP-8 that is the controller that looks like this:
    Classic PDP-8.jpg

    I don't recognize the disk drives in image 1. There should be a label on the back that shows the manufacturer and the model number.

    Just about everything DEC made had a serial number, model number, and manufacturer on a label on the back. Finding the labels would go a long way toward inventorying what you have.
    Member of the Rhode Island Computer Museum
    http://www.ricomputermuseum.org

  4. #4

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    Forum member Mike_Z is within day-trip distance of you, I believe, though I don't know how much free time/garage space he has.
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
    Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
    "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    2,322

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_thompson View Post
    I don't recognize the disk drives in image 1.
    They are PERTEC RK05 equivalents.
    I would think there will be late 70s gear in there somewhere to go along with them.

    Would be curious if you can identify where the stuff originally came from. Lots of possibilities in Ann Arbor
    Applied Dynamics, U of M, Newman Computer Exchange, etc.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    2,322

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    Quote Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post
    Forum member Mike_Z is within day-trip distance of you
    As is a large group of VCF-Midwest people around Chicago.

  7. #7

    Default

    If those disk packs are Diablo 31/rk05/rk03 variants (and it looks like they are), I'd be HIGHLY interested in purchasing one, and some packs, for my Nova.
    Current favorites: IBM 5160 (EGA+Hercules+PGC, 8 floppy drives, XT-IDE), DCC D-116 (Nova 1200 clone), ASR 33 Teletype (now FULLY armed and operational! Mostly.)
    Wishlist: IBM 5161 (expansion chassis), Diablo 31/RK02/RK05 or equivalent, Data General Nova software, and the meaning of life.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Glenview IL and Buchanan MI
    Posts
    739
    Blog Entries
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    Default

    I'm four hours away (near South Bend) and available all next week. I sent a private message with contact info.

  9. #9

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    Oh dear... If I bought that house I would have placed my bed into the basement!

    Roland
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  10. #10

    Default

    Glad I've got some interest! I took some more photos today to get a look at. I found more parts of the PDP-8 and some other things too.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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